Decided to check out Pinocchio. Not 100% sure I will recap and watch as the synposis “drama that follows reporters for a broadcasting company as they chase the truth” did not grab me. It sounds procedural which is not my preference in a drama.
What made me decide to watch?
1. Park Shin Hye. I enjoyed her in You are Beautiful (cute couple with Jang Geun Seok), Flower Boy Next Door (her best role and cute couple with Yoon Si Yoon), and suffered through Heirs. My general opinion is that she is competent, a pretty crier, and takes safe roles. She does not strech herself in the acting department. She cannot kiss on screen offering a lip press to her co-stars.
2. Lee Jong Seok. I enjoyed him in I Can Hear Your Voice. He has a presence on screen that captures me.
3. Director Jo Soo Won and screenwriter Park Hye Ryun. They worked together I Can Hear Your Voice. Bad writing has been an issue in several 2014 shows so I am hoping this writer will deliver the goods like she did in I Can Hear Your Voice.
Episode 1 Nutshell Summary:
Back story Phase 1. The focus is the back story of young Choi Dal Po. Choi Dal Po’s father is the local fire chief (Jung In Gi (father in Flower Boy Ramen Shop)). At a fire the manager tells him there are 2 employees still trapped in the building. He takes his crew into the building and 9 men perish. He is presumed dead until a local with the Pinocchio syndrome (cannot lie without hiccuping) sees Dal Po’s father AFTER the fire. The town and the media are cruel and relentless heaping blame and shame on the surviving family members, Dal Po, his older brother (Yoon Gyun Sang), and mother. The cruelest reporter is Song Cha Ok (Jin Kyung) who has no problem lying to make her stories more dramatic. Dal Po’s mother cannot live with the shame and suggests that she and Dal Po join his father by jumping off a cliff.
Back story Phase 2. Dal Po is saved by a local island fisherman (Byun Hee Bong (grandfather in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho)) who has a form of dementia. He adopts Dal Po and as his first born son even though he has already has an adult first born son (Choi Dal Pyeong). Dal Pyeong and his daughter Choi In Ha go to live with him. In Ha also has the Pinocchio syndrome (cannot lie without hiccuping). They are forced to accept Dal Po as part of the family to keep father/grandfather happy. Eventually Dal Po and In Ha form a friendship. One day Dal Po finds out that In Ha’s mother is the hated reporter Cha Ok.
Back story Phase 3. Dal Po (Lee Jong Seok) participates on a quiz show challenging a local classmate. In Ha (Park Shin Hye) and the school root for either Dal Po or the other classmate. The concept of 6 degrees of separation is introduced on the quiz show. At the end of the episode, Dal Po’s brother walks by a bank of TVs and does not recognize his own brother Dal Po but is riveted seeing the news reporter Cha Ok.
* This episode was like many first episodes, decent but not great. The back story was ok. It did not grip me. Way too much time on Back Story Phase 1 (28 minutes) which blamed the father and shamed the family. This could have been shortened in half. Glad the back story is complete. I hope the next episode we move to the adult Dal Po and In Ha exclusively. Fingers crossed episode 2 is more interesting.
* Awesome awful wig that Lee Jong Seok has to sport in this first episode.